How to build a tri bunk bed

Written by beverlee brick
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How to build a tri bunk bed
Add a third bed to your bunks. (Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images)

A triple-decker bunk bed is a good idea for families with many children or for a space where kids from multiple families might spend the night, like a bunk house for a summer home. Building a three-bed bunk isn't much more complicated than building a traditional double-decker. The third bunk even adds stability by installing an extra frame.

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Things you need

  • 4 posts, 15 cm by 15 cm by 210 cm (6 inches by 6 inches by 84 inches)
  • 6 beams, 5 cm by 10 cm by 85 cm (2 inches by 4 inches by 34 inches)
  • 6 beams, 5 cm by 10 cm by 187.5 cm (2 inches by 4 inches by 75 inches)
  • 3 plywood sheets, 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) thick, 97.5 cm by 187.5 cm (39 inches by 75 inches)
  • 12 bolts, 20 cm (8 inches) long, with matching nuts
  • Power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bits
  • Crescent wrench
  • Sandpaper
  • Box 7.5 cm (3 inch) long wood screws
  • 3 Twin mattresses

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Instructions

    Preparation

  1. 1

    Cut your timber to the size. You can also opt to have your timber pre-cut when you buy it.

  2. 2

    Sand your timber. If you want to paint it, do so at this stage while all the tilumber is easy to handle.

  3. 3

    Drill holes in each end of the 187.5 cm (75 inch) beams. Place the holes 6.8 cm (2 3/4 inches) from the end of the beam and 1.8 cm (3/4 inches) apart. Use a drill bit the same diameter as your bolts.

  4. 4

    Use the same drill bit to drill two holes in a support post, one 15 cm (6 inches) from the end and one 1.8 cm (3/4 inches) further in. Drill both 6.8 cm (2 3/4 inches) from the edge of the post.

  5. 5

    Drill two more sets of holes in the post. Place one set 90 cm (36 inches) from the end of the post and the other 165 cm (66 inches) from the end. Place the second hole in each set 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) further from the end.

  6. 6

    Repeat these steps for the other three support posts.

    Mattress frames

  1. 1

    Set up two long and two short beams in a rectangle, lying on the narrow ends. The short beams should be inside the long beams.

  2. 2

    Screw the rectangle in place using two screws at each joint. Drive the screws through the face of the long beam and into the end of the short beam.

  3. 3

    Lay a plywood sheet on top of the frame and screw it in place with one screw at each corner. Reinforce with one screw centred on each side.

  4. 4

    Repeat these steps to build two more mattress frames for a total of three.

    Assembly

  1. 1

    Move all components into the room where you intend to install the bunk bed. The fully-assembled bed will be very heavy.

  2. 2

    Set up the support posts so the holes run parallel to the wall where the long side of the bed will lay. Align the ends so all pre-drilled holes are level.

  3. 3

    Install the middle mattress frame by sliding bolts through the holes drilled in the posts and beams. Tighten the nuts using your crescent wrench.

  4. 4

    Install the top mattress frame as you did the middle.

  5. 5

    Install the bottom mattress frame as you did the middle and top frames.

  6. 6

    Insert three twin mattresses into the mattress frames and your triple-decker bunk bed is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to use mattresses larger than a twin, adjust your timber sizes accordingly.
  • Check the ceiling height where you want to install this bed frame. If it offers less than 60 cm (2 feet) of clearance, adjust the bed frame size accordingly.

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